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What’s Best, A River or Park View?

Deciding where to live in Manhattan could be a harder decision than you thought.

Manhattan is like an equatorial rain forest, with buildings leaping higher and higher for light. A room with a view is priceless. When that view also includes a park, notably Central or of the two parallel rivers, The Hudson and East River, prices are liable to hit the clouds.

It’s generally accepted that buyers are willing to pay about 10—25% more for a condo/co-op or an apartment that allows park and river views. Appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel appraisers told the New York Times that park view premiums run higher than river view premiums. Two apartments of different sizes but with the same view command the same premium.

Choosing a condo with a park or river view is ultimately an individual choice. There are simply some buyers who would prefer to be downtown. That rules out Central Park but could include Madison Park, Union Square, Gramercy Park, City Park, or New York Bay and both the Hudson and East River. That said, given that Manhattan is an island and surrounded by water, you’ll have a much better chance of finding riverfront property than you will one with an unencumbered view of Central Park.

Here are some of the newer developments with river or park views worth investigating:

Park Views

145 Central Park North, South Harlem

This is probably the most affordable chance you’ll get to live around Central Park. In years gone by South Harlem was deemed a no-go in both real estate and real life. But times have changed and now clever money is betting big on Central Park North being the next Manhattan hotspot. If you want to ride the wave of appreciation you could do a lot worse than taking a look at the bronze-clad, 13-story, wall of glass, at 145 Central Park North which enjoys 100ft of park frontage. Inside, the One-Four bedroom residences start at $1.25 million and contain wide plank light flooring, sleek matte gray and white kitchens with Fisher Paykel appliances. Spa-like bathrooms and contemporary light wood window casings keep the feel light and airy.

33 Park Row (City Hall Park)

The first residential property in New York City by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, 33 Park Row is a stylish glass-fronted building containing 30 One to Five-bedroom condos. It’s a stone’s throw away from the often-overlooked 9-acre City Hall Park in the heart of the Financial District. With a maximum of only three residences per floor, crowded elevators won’t be an issue. In fact, the column-free residences and loggias’ terraces and Juliet balconies give the homes a sense of space and relaxation. The open plan kitchens enjoy white oak cabinetry, Miele appliances, and sculptural honed tundra gray marble appliances with waterfall edges. The bathrooms are a nod to historic European spas with dramatically veined and book-matched honed Montclair Danby marble and radiant heated flooring.

150 East 78th St

You’re guaranteed a few things with a Robert A.M. Stern building; timeless sophistication, breathtaking limestone-clad architecture, and top-notch amenities. Though his latest creation may not actually overlook Central Park, it’s close enough for its penthouses to enjoy the verdant vista a few blocks away. This building seems right at home amongst the tree lined enclave encompassing the city’s museums and cultural districts.

Containing just 25 residences, these condos are a sanctuary of space and relaxation with a rich palette of textures. Highlights include chevron-patterned flooring, detailed crown moldings, hand-finished kitchen cabinetry, Miele and Sub-Zero appliances, and a scene-stealing Lacanche gas range in anthracite. The palatial five-fixture bathroom is clad in honed Bianco Crisium and Bardiglio Nuvoletto stone.

Aman New York, 730 Fifth Avenue

The Crown Building, which sits on the bustling corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park, has undergone a startling transformation. The iconic gilded age structure has been reincarnated as the Aman NY, a combination hotel and condo development with 22 private residences. Guests and homeowners get to share pool and spa amenities, a jazz club, and dining facilities. Condos feature multiple fireplaces, Gaggenau kitchen appliances, underfloor heating in master bathrooms, demisting mirrors, rain and/or steam showers, and free-standing soaking bathtubs.

River Views

The West, 547, W47th St

Located on 11th Avenue, overlooking the Hudson, The West is like a cruise ship on land. Comprising a mighty 219 units over 12 stories, the building, imagined by Dutch innovators Concrete is divided into two halves; a chic dark brick lower half and a steel and glass upper half. Amenities include the Glasshouse, a freestanding library with a fireplace, living room and communal work table. With a double-height fitness center, children’s playroom, and more, dog run, and pocket park, there’s as much to do outside your condo as in. If you do plan to stay in, honed Calacatta marble countertops and backsplashes, a bespoke cabinetry system in contrasting pale grey, Rohl nickel fixtures, along with Miele appliances will make cooking a pleasure.

VU, 368 3rd Ave

With soaring city and East River views (from the upper floors), VU is aptly named. It’s planted amid some of Manhattan’s most vibrant neighborhoods; Flatiron, Nomad, Gramercy, and Kipps Bay. Comprising 100 units over 21 floors, the interiors, designed by Paris Forino, are bright and airy with clean contemporary finishes in a palette of natural materials including light woods, marble, and creamy kitchen cabinetry. The tranquil master bathrooms continue the theme with an intricate mosaic floor pattern adding some understated cool.

ERA 251 W. 91st St

Dazzlingly cantilevered, the Upper West Side has a new star. ERA has Hudson views from its upper floors and overlooks Riverside Park on one side and Central Park further off in the distance from another. Comprising 57 One to Five bedroom units over 20 floors, the exterior is made from chic stone tiles and the interiors by ODA Architecture include Honed crema delicato marble waterfall countertops with a matching range hood and custom Italian cabinetry by Aster Cucine. Waterfall marble counters, sleek ceiling height creamy cabinetry, and Gaggenau appliances complete the ensemble.

Summary

Manhattan has plenty to offer for nature lovers. As an island containing 31 parks, you are never far from woodland or water. With the lag of inventory is now selling in a post-pandemic buying spree fueled by rock bottom interest rates, now could finally be the time to snag your very own room with a view.